Wednesday, October 21, 2015

October 22, 2015

"Now faith is....." Hebrews 11:1

Here at the beginning of this 11th Chapter the Apostle is addressing some issues these Christians were having with their faith.

Paul reminds them that faith is an issue of belonging. Under the pressure and pain of persecution you can lose sight of Who you belong to. In Chapter 10 verses 19 through 23 he reminds them they belong to God and should draw near to Him.

You were made to belong! The need to belong is a powerful human need. Belong to God satisfies that need like nothing else.

Are you longing to belong? Put your faith in Jesus and confess your need to belong to Him.

Faith is a belonging issue and it is also a believing issue. 

In 10:23, Paul urges, "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful."

How can you be in relationship with someone unless you believe in them? 

One thing you need to believe is that God believes in you!

Faith belongs. Faith believes. Faith behaves.

Faith is a private, personal spiritual decision. It is subjective and it is internal. So, faith must be demonstrated in the behavior of those who claim to believe. For faith to be real the behavior must match the beliefs.

Paul devotes the last twelve verses of Chapter 10 and all of Chapter 11 discussing and demonstrating how faith should behave. Chapter 11 hails the exploits of those who became exemplary models of faith because of how they behaved in obedience to God.

You cannot read through Hebrews Chapter 11 and doubt that they had faith. Their historic and heroic deeds demonstrate their belief!

Faith belongs!

Do you know for sure you belong to Jesus?

Faith believes!

Have you placed you faith in Jesus and confessed Him as your Savior?

Faith behaves!

Do your attitudes, your actions, your associations and your announcements give evidence of your belief in Jesus?

October 23, 2015

"Now faith is....." Hebrews 11:1a

I have already established that faith exists in the now. The faith I had when I began writing this article is of little consequence at this moment. Faith is based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and relationships are dynamic not static.

So, there is no doubt that "now" faith is what changes the world because now faith brings God's presence, God's power, God's purpose, God's peace, God's perspective and God's passion to your life!

Now that I have reiterated the importance of "now" faith I want to add another truth about it. "Now" faith is powerful because it bridges past victories to a future vision!

How do I know what God can and will do in the future?

I only know what He will do because I know what He has done and I know His character and nature has not changed. Isn't it true that the best predictor of what someone will do is what they have done in the past?

When it comes to developing a vision for my life or for my ministry I do it by using my "now" faith to factor God's past performance forward to a new project. 

I know what God CAN do by knowing what He HAS done! Faith believes that because God has done it before He can do it again!

Isn't that the main truth that drives Hebrews 11? Abraham had faith God would use him to build a great nation because he knew what God had done in days gone by. 

Noah had faith to build an ark to save his people from a flood despite never having seen rain not having built a boat. Where did that vision come from? Where did he find that faith? 

He believed what God could do because he believed what God had done. Faith allowed him to believe God could do it through him! Noah's "now" faith led him to connect his past faith to a future vision. And, it was his "now" faith that gave him the strength and stamina to go to work on the ark every day for over a century!

"Now" faith is powerful in the moment because it is anchored in past victories while anticipating future vision!

If you are struggling with a vision for future blessings spend time reflecting on past blessings!

October 21, 2015

"Now faith....." Hebrews 11:1

These first two words in this great chapter give significant insight into this critical aspect of spirituality.

Faith is a "now" issue!

That is true because faith grows out of a personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ and relationships exist in the "now". Yesterday's faith won't help you today. 

Hebrews Chapter 11 is a primer on faith and one of the primary truths about faith is that it exists in the moment. It is a "now" experience.

Abraham had a "now" faith! His hope was in a future promise but his faith was in a daily walk with God.

Noah had a "now" faith! His hope was in a very large ship he would build to some day save his family but his faith was found in a daily relationship with God.

So it is with every saint in this prestigious list of faith heroes! Each of them whose faith we honor now had a faith that was founded in their now. Faithfulness develops moment by moment and obedience by obedience and step by step.

God meets us in the moment. It's all we have. When we meet Him in the moment and we surrender to Him in that moment He gives Himself to us in that moment! It was what Abel, and Enoch and Noah and Abraham and David and Joseph and all the other faith heroes are remembered through the millenniums because of the faith they had in the moments. Faith is a "now" issue that leads to forever results!

How is your faith right now?

What are you doing now?